These four videos were originally published in 1994…
Paul Reed, a resident of North Dallas, TX, volunteered for the U.S. Army; gung-ho and not wanting to miss out on the opportunity to fight communists in Vietnam. Paul stated that during his military training, the government programmed him and his fellow trainees to “hate and kill”. When Paul finally arrived in Vietnam in 1968, he was assigned to the 173rd Airborne Division as an infantry soldier. It didn’t take long before his unit was involved in a major battle with NVA Regulars in the mountains near Kontum, north of Pleiku; eight of his friends perished.
After the battle, the soldiers discovered fifty-four enemy rucksacks and numerous bodies on the hilltop. While searching through one of the packs, Paul discovered several items including personal pictures and a small hand-written diary – the owner was an NVA Officer and most likely killed. Paul sent these items home to his mother, who kept them stored on a shelf for the next twenty years.
Sergeant Paul Reed returned from Vietnam with a Bronze Star and Purple Heart, but found it difficult to fit back into society. He was still filled with “hate” – resulting in a lost marriage and ability to keep a job. After more than a decade, thoughts about Vietnam began creeping into his head – consuming him. He arranged to have the diary translated and found that this enemy soldier wasn’t any different than him. The NVA Officer also hated Americans and the jungle; he, too, was afraid of dying, and fought for what he believed was a just cause. Pages within the diary were filled with poems, thoughts about the war and loving letters to his wife, who would never see them. He was human too!
Mr. Reed soon learns that the former NVA Officer and owner of the diary is alive and wants to meet him in Vietnam. The first video begins with some of the background I’ve shared here – then follows him to Hanoi, where he meets up with his former enemy. They learn about one another and travel together to revisit the site of that historic battle. Each segment is about fifteen minutes long.
An article about Paul Reeds’ quest was published in “People Magazine” in 1996, which continues this story and Paul returns to the United States. I’ve added the direct link to this article at the end of this post and highly recommend looking it over.
The following pictures are from the archives of Bernie Weisz and show the general vicinity of where the battle took place…
Direct Link to People Magazine article:
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Should you have a question or comment about this article, then scroll down to the comment section below to leave your response.
If you want to learn more about the Vietnam War and its Warriors, then subscribe to this blog and get notified by email or your feed reader every time a new story, picture, video or changes occur on this website – the button is located at the top right of this page.
I’ve also created a poll to help identify my website audience – before leaving, can you please click HERE and choose the one item best describing you. Thank you in advance!